There will probably be lower attendance at arenas tonight due to the sloppy road conditions throughout much of the province.
We have pictured the Assistant Coach/GM (Darren Kelly) and Head Coach / GM (Todd Gill) of the Kingston Frontenacs. They have a favourable home game tonight vs. division rival the Ottawa 67's.
Ottawa at Kingston
The best thing for the 67s to do is to forget about last night's 11-1 home ice loss to the London Knights. Ottawa gave up 4 PP goals and 4 SH goals in this game. Clint Windsor allowed the first 5 goals on 17 shots, and Jacob Blair the last 6 goals on 22 shots. In losing their 6th straight, the 67s could only muster 20 shots of their own. They are now 8 points behind the Petes, in last place in the OHL.
The Frontenacs suffered through a hard week of practice after their miserable last two weekends. Coach Todd Gill put them through their paces, after having lost 6 straight. Kingston hasn't played well since Christmas, starting with a 4-3 home ice loss on January 1st against Ottawa.
Expect Kingston to come out with a greater sense of urgency and purpose tonight. Everyone needs to be better, from the crease on out, in order for the Fronts to secure a playoff spot, and perhaps move up in the standings.
My prediction Ottawa 2 at Kingston 5
Erie at Kitchener
This will be the nationally televised game on Sportsnet tonight. The Otters have been scoring lots of goals, but coming up short in wins. They have points in five of their last 10 games, but will have to be better in order to gain ground on the #7 Spits (7 points ahead) and the #8 Spirit (11 points ahead).
Tonight the Rangers will be collecting potatoes and cash for the 16th year in support of House of Friendship. Hopefully they won’t get ‘fried’ on their home ice – where they have a solid 16-5-0-2 record this season. Faksa is out for February with a MCL injury. The 2 teams will tangle again tomorrow night in Erie.
My prediction Erie 3 Kitchener 6
Plymouth at Sarnia
The Whalers harpooned the Spits last night to the tune of 8-2. The knocked in 3 goals in the first period and 5 goals in the second period. Matthew Mistele is having a zippy month with 8 goals and 6 assists in 10 games in January – in 28 games last season he had 5 points. With the win, the Whalers vaulted into second place having a 1 point lead over the Sarnia Sting. They have 2 in a row and 8 of their last 10 games.
The Sting have also won their last 2 games and 7 of their last 10 games. Charles Sarault is in third place in league scoring (16 goals and 55 assists). Reid Boucher is in the #7 spot (38 goals and 23 assists). Rookie Goldobin is trying to keep up with phenom Connor McDavid – 8 points separate these players.
My prediction Plymouth 3 Sarnia 5
Windsor at Sault Ste Marie
The Spits had trouble getting off the runway in this game – trailing by 3 after one period – then making it close (3-2) early in the third period. The Whalers ran away with the game after scoring five more times. They will need to pull things together if they are going to make a run at the Saginaw Spirit for the final playoff spot (currently 4 points behind).
The Greyhounds won their last 2 games – both on the road in Eastern Ontario. They are 4 points out of fifth place, but also only 4 points ahead of the last playoff spot. Team point leader Nick Cousins has eclipsed his season assist high mark with 54 helpers this season.
My prediction Windsor 4 Sault Ste Marie 2
Owen Sound at Guelph
This is the first of a home / home series between these two teams. The Attack remain near the top of the Western Conference with 64 points this season – 11 behind the streaky London Knights. They are the most penalized team in the league (903 PIM – next closest are the Greyhounds with 745 PIM). Owen Sound is #6 on the penalty kill on the road so they aren’t hurt too often on the scoreboard when penalized.
Guelph is looking to push ahead of the Rangers (1 behind them) and the Greyhounds (2 ahead of them) with their sights set on the Owen Sound Attack (7 points behind them). Last weekend they had great victories in Ottawa (6-0) and Kingston (5-3).
My prediction Owen Sound 2 Guelph 4
Saginaw at Mississauga
The Spirit are clinging to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with a record of 22-20-3-2. They are 4 points ahead of the Spits and 4 points behind the Greyhounds. Their last game was on Wednesday night when they edged out the Erie Otters 4-3 in a shootout. Goal scorers were Moutrey (14), Alexeev (7) and Ross (27). Gregg Sutch would score the only goal in the shooutout for the victory. They have a record of 3-6-1-0 in their last 10 games as the visiting team.
The Steelheads are in the midst of a mid-season slump where they have only won 2 of their last 10 games. They are positioned in #7 – just 4 points behind the nosediving Niagara Icedogs and 3 points ahead of the equally lethargic Kingston Frontenacs. Riley Brace was honored at their last home games for being the career leader in games played (283) – he did not disappoint his fans by shelling in 2 goals in his team’s 4-2 home ice victory on Wednesday night.
My prediction Saginaw 3 Mississauga 2
Oshawa at Sudbury
The Generals (3rd) are 5 points ahead of the surging Wolves (4th) in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have had solid goaltending in Altshuller, and Palazzese. The Wolves have gained at least a point in their last 11 home games, and are 7-0-2-2 during that stretch, losing most recently to their northern cousins from the Soo, 5-4 in OT.
The Generals have recently welcomed back Boone Jenner, Tyler Biggs and most recently Lucas Lessio, making them a legitimate threat to challenge for Eastern Conference supremacy. However, the Bulls beat them in Belleville, in their last game 4-1. Tonight, Scott Sabourin, and John McGuire will each serve their 2nd of their 2 game suspensions for separate incidents, in Sunday’s game.
My prediction Oshawa 4 at Sudbury 3